The Cuban Missile Crisis And How It Ended

CubanMC

The Cuban Missle crisis was an intense situation for all sides. However, when it came to an end on October 28, 1962, all sides were relieved that a nuclear crisis did not happen, but it did not put an end to the long-standing political rivalry.

A Nuclear Installation

Only two weeks prior, the Soviet Union and the United States were in a heated military and political debate due to the Soviet’s nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba.

In 1961, the Bay of Pigs invasion was a failure. The United States had nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy, so Fidel Castro and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to place nuclear weapons in Cuba.

They hoped that the nuclear missiles would stop the United States from invading again and keep the CIA out. Instead, however, the United States discovered the plans due to help from a Soviet spy.

Colonel Oleg Penkovsky passed a plethora of information on to the CIA. He gave them war plans, documents, and intelligence information.

Getting Confirmation

A U-2 spy plane did a flyover on October 14 to confirm that the Soviet missiles were, in fact, in Cuba. October 16-28, 1962, was an intense 13-day showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The confrontation between the two rival countries was so intense that the world came right up to the edge of nuclear war. It was the closest they came during the Cold War.

The countries agreed that the Soviet Union would take their missiles out of Cuba. The United States also agreed to remove its missiles from Turkey.

The White House and the Kremlin handled the agreement and the details themselves, not seeking input from either of their bureaucracies. However, everyone remembers this crisis as the closest the two nations came to a major nuclear confrontation.

The two superpowers signed a nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1968. While they agreed to pull back on the nuclear front, the two countries still remain in fierce competition, which is still felt in their political interactions.

Sources: 1, 2

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